Game Day Preview: Toledo Walleye (3-2-1-0) at Worcester Railers (3-1-1-0)

Happy Halloween Walleye fans! Hope you have a safe and happy holiday full of candy and costumes, but don’t forget to make time for some Walleye hockey! So far Toledo has gone 1-1-1-0 on their road trip, splitting the weekend series with Adirondack and losing an OT contest in Reading on Thursday. Now the Walleye make their first ever trip to Worcester to take on the Railers, a team that has had a remarkably similar start to the year.

Toledo Walleye
League Standing: 11th with 7 points
Western Conference Standing: 6th out of 14 teams
Central Division Standing: 2nd out of 7 teams
Goals Scored Average: 3.00, with 18 goals scored ranking 16th
Goals Against Average: 2.83, with 17 goals allowed ranking 10th
Power Play (PP): 15.0%, percentage is tied for 14th, have three goals on 20 PP opportunities
Penalty Kill (PK): 95.8%, percentage is ranked 1st with 1 PP goals allowed on 24 PKs.

Worcester Railers
League Standing: 10th with 7 points
Eastern Conference Standing: 5th out of 13 teams
North Division Standing: 3rd out of 7 teams
Goals Scored Average: 3.00, with 15 goals scored tied for 23rd 
Goals Against Average: 2.80, with 14 goals allowed tied for 5th
Power Play: 17.6%, percentage is tied for 10th, have three PP goals on 17 PP opportunities
Penalty Kill: 95.5%, percentage is ranked 2nd with 1 PP goal allowed on 22 PKs

Player Transactions

Toledo Walleye:
On October 28th defenseman (D) Patrick McCarron was recalled to the Grand Rapids Griffins, so in response the Walleye signed third year pro Kevin Gibson (D) to a Standard Player Contract today. Gibson will most likely make his team debut tonight in Worcester. Also, this will be the first game of a two game suspension that forward Connor Crisp will serve as a result of a cross check against Adirondack on October 28th.

Worcester Railers:
Yesterday the Railers added forward Matthew Gaudreau to the line up after he was loaned from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL. Matthew is the younger brother of Calgary Flames star Johnny Gaudreau.

Tonight’s game will be the first time the franchises have met, as this is the inaugural season for the Railers. Both clubs are coming off of wins on Saturday, when Worcester downed Utah 4-1 while Toledo beat Adirondack 4-2. On this Halloween night two very similar teams meet, the Railers are just in front of the Walleye in overall league standings (10th and 11th). The clubs share a goals scored average of 3.00, while the Walleye have a near identical goals against average of 2.83 compared to Worcester’s 2.80. Special teams are also deadlocked, with three goals for each PP unit and one goal allowed by each club on the PK. Plain and simple: this is going to be a tactical match up where Toledo will have to capitalize on their opportunities. The Walleye have been trying to find consistency in their game as they continue to gel early in the season, line up shuffles and injuries have made this difficult. Coach Watson looks to get 60 minutes of focused hockey out of his squad, so that they can head into the second home game of the year on a positive note. Pat Nagle (3-0-1-0) will most likely get the start after having two days of rest from his win in Adirondack, and Mitch Gillam (2-1-0-0) looks to take the crease for Worcester. Tune in tonight at 7:05 p.m. for the start of Toledo’s seventh game of the year, as we look to get some treats and avoid getting tricked by the Railers!

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